They were impossible to miss last month—e-mails about privacy regulations. People who are subscribed to digital newsletters were especially blown away by a huge amount of confirmation requests. At The Broker, the question of whether we comply with the new European privacy rules labelled ‘GDPR’ was also raised. After all, connecting people and organizations with each other is part of our core business, and consequently, organizing these people’s data is too.
A new regulation like the GDPR might seem to have major implications for an organization where exchange within a network of experts plays such a central role. Luckily, we soon found out that the opposite is the case. As advocating for an inclusive, open and democratic society is part of our mission, collecting personal data has never been a hobby for us. The data that we do have is used for our idealistic purposes only, never commercially. But knowledge brokering does mean that we collect contact details from those our work is aimed at, those who support us in our cause and those who share any knowledge with us.
So what personal data of yours could be in our possession? We have two databases that you might be part of. First is our Mailchimp database for the e-mail newsletter. You will only be in there if you have ever subscribed to The Broker yourself—and confirmed this subscription yourself too. Second is our salesforce ‘contact-relations management’ database. In this database we keep track of our network of experts. Where they work, what subjects they work on, which of our team members have been in contact with them and so on. If you have handed your e-mail address and phone number to us at some point, or if they are publically available, they might be in there too. It is basically a collection of historic contacts that would otherwise be in the individual mailboxes, phones of minds of our staff. None of this data is used in any way beyond the intention of the individuals who originally shared it with us, nor is it ever used for commercial purposes.
Any other personal data we store can be found online on our website or within the minds of our team. The first can easily be scanned with a search tool like Google, and does not contain anything non-consensual. The latter we are forced to leave to your imagination.
Nonetheless, if you would like to review any of the personal data that we may store, we happily invite you to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘GDPF personal data request’. After we have confirmed your identity, one of our staff will then collect and share all available data we have on you within five working days. Data may include:
- Newsletter subscription data (subscription e-mail address and name, organization, opening/reading statistics)
- Salesforce CRM data (generally: an overview of any contact we had with you)
- In case you have been employed at The Broker or applied for a job, any CV and/or ID-card copies
Upon request, we can delete this data permanently.
Photo credit main picture: "Data" by Janet McKnight (via Flicr)